What Is The Magic Formula That Brings People To Church?

Have you ever thought about a pervasive problem so much that your head hurt?  Or have you sought the counsel of experts who provided you with a plan for success that in some ways had no relationship to your institution or demonstrated mission?  I recall the organization that I worked my career in, Building Services, being evaluated by a team of consultants from Georgia.  As I sat and listened to their presentation it became clear to me that they really knew very little about our group.  They assured us that they were going to interview each of us to ensure that they’re cleaning plan for us would be accurate. I later discovered that they interviewed no one and returned to their Georgian home base to map out their system on floor plans for each university building, on the building layout drawings that had been provided for them by Architectural Services.  In a few weeks we received the 40 thousand dollar consultant diagrams…and no on could relate to them and they subsequently had to be re-written by each of our 30 custodial crews before that they could be implemented in some vague semblance!  The further that you remove yourself from the people who understand the operation and what it takes to make it a success…the more lost that you become…

I have been a member of a church for the past 51 years.  I was 12 years old when I began attending.  Prior to that I went to Bible School at the First Christian Church that was around the corner and a few block from my house.  I recall being captivated by the story of Moses and the children of Israel.  The teacher asked me to explain my understanding of the Old Testament story.  When I had completed my meager remarks…I felt inspired and the instructor told me that she had never heard a young person speak so heartfelt regarding Moses…  I am certain that it was,

Not eloquent…but it was heartfelt…and I remember it 54 years later!

It is possible to push a hope or a vision…so hard…that you cannot see the forest for the trees!  For many years I advised chancellors and presidents at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale that the secret of success for our recruitment and retention of our precious students…was first to love them. By love I mean to befriend them.  To care about them when they are happy… and to be a shoulder to cry on when they are sad…  Dynamic interactions create a magnetic drawing of those who are hungry to see the love of Christ demonstrated by their fellow humans!

When members of your congregation seem dis-connected from the numerous missions of your church…they are not complainers…..they are hungry for someone to invite them in and to care about them and to value what they have to offer!

Church growth is not about targeting a select group of brothers and sisters that are mirror images of you and your congregation.  We are in he midst of a 2020 pandemic that may be a 2021 pandemic…and beyond.  We have nearly 40 million people out of work in the United States.  There are protests across the globe regarding the murder of Mr. George Floyd and the cancer of racism…  God is searching for somewhere to send his lost sheep who are battered and beaten and crushed by the inhumanity of their fellow man…  Let us be the shelter in the time of storm…


3 thoughts on “What Is The Magic Formula That Brings People To Church?

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about going to Sunday school. I hear people say we do not want our children to be brainwashed with religion when they grow up they can make up their own minds if they wish religion in their lives. I was sent with my siblings to Sunday school – the church at that time (1940 – 1950) was very much part of the community, How would it be possible for people (when they are grown-up) to make a rational decision about religion unless that have a grounding. I am not a great believer in the “church” but have tried to build my life around the teachings of Christ – I am thankful for those inspires teachers of my youth, maybe that is the answer you seek?

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